Going Brunette for Summer is on the Rise

by josie / last updated July 22, 2022

The Rise in Summer Brunettes - Lily James

Summer is unofficially known as blonde season; blonde lasts better in summer because hair naturally lightens, so it’s easier to maintain versus richer tones, which can fade in strong sunlight.

Whilst this means you’re likely to receive requests from clients with dark hair wishing to go lighter, there will also always be clients that opt to steer away from the trend of the season and go brunette, or even black, for summer – much like Lily James and Phoebe Dynevor.

The Rise in Summer Brunettes

As a colourist, there is a balance to be found between providing a client with the hair colour they desire whilst offering advice on what you think it best for their hair health and realistic for them to maintain. (And if you have a brunette client wishing to go blonde in one sitting, show them this.) On this balance, Marney Lian from Gritt London explains open communication is key: “We would never dissuade a client from going lighter, for example, but we’re always super realistic with them. While we approach any colour transformation with a super excited attitude, we are transparent about pricing and timeframe – including how long it will take to get back to their original colour if they change their mind and decide to switch back – but who doesn’t love a change?”

A light to dark transformation by Marney. 

Simon Townley, Matrix Artistic Ambassador, agrees that transparency with your clients is crucial: “You need to explain the damage and that the porosity of the hair can be affected during lightening services and explain that reverting back to their original shade may not be possible after lightening.”

Giuseppe Stelitano, Creative Director at Trevor Sorbie for L’Oreal Professionnel, has a similar ethos when it comes to tackling colour transformations: “I always have a long-term vision with my guests so that with any big colour change, not only do they understand the process and the time it will take, but I understand what they want the look to be.

“I always create a conversation with the guest and suggest an introduction to the colour, so that it leaves the door open so that if they want to change back it wouldn’t be so much of a shock.”

Carolyn Newman, UK Ambassador INSIGHT Professional, offers an alternative route to trying out a new colour, sharing: “If I am really unsure they will like it, I recommend them trying on a blonde or dark wig to visually get an idea. Make sure the wig is similar to their own hairstyle, so it is an even comparison.”

Hair colour is certainly a personal preference, and Marney notes: “Our salon is definitely ‘team blonde’ any time of year. But saying that, it’s all about dimension this summer. Warm, rich, expensive blondes rather than classic, super bright is where it’s at.”

Giuseppe, however, says: “I prefer brunette shades for summer. It’s nice to see healthy hair again! Sometimes as colourists we want to go crazy and achieve a big change, but it’s so important for the guest to have healthy hair first and then build on that.”

Carolyn notes: “I’m team blonde – but If I believe it’s wrong for a client to go lighter, as it will not suit them or their skin-tone, part of my consultation service is that I use my colourfan to visually show them and explain what will suit their skin-tone. It’s all about suitability.”

Perdro Plastic, Pulp Riot Artist, holds a similar attitude: “Being team blonde or brunette for summer is impossible to choose as every colour depends on each person; you should recommend a hair colour depending on which shade will suit your client the most. I’m definitely team beautiful, and healthy hair doesn’t matter if it’s blonde or black.”


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